Public Lectures 2009
Grand Prize 2009: Augustin BERQUE
- Fudo and Japan: towards a Global Perspective
- September 19, 2009 (13:30-15:30)
- IMS Hall
- Mr. Hideki Nozawa (Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University)
- Mr. Yoshiaki Ishizawa (President, Sophia University)
After his keynote speech, Professor Berque presented a number of thought-provoking observations dealing with fudo, based in part on his life in Japan for fteen years, in a discussion session with Hideki Nozawa, Professor Emeritus of Kyushu University, coordinated by Yoshiaki Ishizawa, President of Sophia University.
“Fudo includes not only the environment, but the subjectivity of the inhabitants as well”
During my studies in geography and Oriental studies, I encountered a book by Tetsuro Watsuji entitled Fudo, published in 1935. I was deeply interested in the concept of fudo that he discussed, introducing the concept of ontology into geography while preserving the phenomenological interpretation. He wrote that fudo was not merely the environment, but also included the subjectivity of its human residents. It is impossible to understand the reality of fudo without first understanding the people living within it.
I formerly lived in Sapporo, and one of my research themes there was the pioneering of Hokkaido in the Meiji era. At that time rice agriculture was thought scientically impossible in Hokkaido, but the determination and efforts of the farmers there, coupled with a natural mutation exhibiting improved resistance to cold climate, made it possible. The flavor of this strain drops somewhat when grown outside the Hokkaido region, and no doubt it would have been disposed of as weed. With the successful establishment of rice agriculture in Hokkaido, however, this rice assumed a central position in the fudo of the region. This fudo incorporates both subjectivity (the feelings of the local inhabitants) and objectivity (nature, scenery, etc.), and the balance between them can also be interpreted as the relationship between the collective and the individual. The interactive relationship between these two elements, trajectivity, is what creates fudo and the people.
In today's world, the fudo of diverse regions including Japan are being homogenized, and this trend has been questioned. These warnings against modernization are a new research theme of mine. The environment and human inhabitance are threatened, and we must recognize the need for a lifestyle based on quality, not on materialism. Philosopher Martin Heidegger once said that people should live like poets. Creating the earth of the future will require us to assume lifestyles with the spiritual richness of poets.
- ---Panelist Mr. Hideki Nozawa (Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University)
- Prof. Berque has lled in many of the inadequacies of Watsuji’s original fudo concept, making it much richer and detailed. The concept of trajectivity, dening an approach based on a combination of the aspects of both the unique and the universal, has vastly deepened fudo study. Fudo, to him, is intimately linked to a better understanding of Japan, and he suggests that the concept of fudo underlies global themes in the fields of sociology, environmental science, ethics, philosophy and thought.
- ---Coordinator Mr. Yoshiaki Ishizawa (President, Sophia University)
- There are theories in Asian thought that are not actually put into words, but that we hope will be understood nonetheless. Prof.Berque indentied these in the Watsuji’s work, and made them more readily evident to further extendfudo study. Underlying the Japanese language is the unique cultural foundation of Japan, and for that reason, we have found that this language itself is one of the materials he has used in his research.
Academic Prize 2009: Partha CHATTERJEE
- Voicing the History of the Voiceless
- September 20, 2009 (13:00-14:30)
- IMS Hall
- Mrs. Chiharu Takenaka (Professor of Rikkyo University law department)
Public Lecture by Prof. Partha Chatterjee was held in IMS Hall on September 20, and he introduced his idea and thought on his specialized field in his lecture, talks with panelists.
"Voicing the History of the Voiceless"
Professor Chatterjee talked with Professor Chiharu Takenaka of Rikkyo University, who researches international and Indian politics and has translated work by Professor Chatterjee. Their discussion touched on methods of uncovering the history of the ordinary people, and how to utilize that knowledge in the future.
History Imparts New Power to Knowledge
Takenaka: I look forward to hearing your talk today, along with the other people here, as you were my inspiration when I first began studying India.
Chatterjee: When I began my work as a historian, I had the opportunity to listen to the experiences of the ordinary people in the battle for liberation. Their story was considerably different from the history told by the leading elite, and my doubts crystallized in subaltern (non-elite) studies.When I examined how India gained independence from Britain, I felt that it was essential for the historian to recognize the separate nature of the subaltern population. It was however very difficult to demonstrate that the subalterns had independence and selfgovernance, because their voices were not recorded in government or police reports, or in the newspapers. I met with people who lived through those times and interviewed them directly, but it was difficult for them to discuss memories of events that happened 20 or 30 years earlier. We tried a variety of methods of uncovering the voices of the unheard masses accurately and giving them expression. With Indian democracy, unlike that of other nations, the ratio of voting population rises inversely with income, and such lowincome people utilize the representative system to claim their rights to live. This relationship between the subalterns and politics has continued until the present day.
Takenaka: India is an immense land, with a long history. Could you speak a bit of that richness?
Chatterjee: India has many languages, each with roots in its own region, and each language has formed a regional culture around it. Indian culture is extremely diverse because each of these languages has its own literature, theater, film and other forms of artistic works.
Takenaka: Subaltern studies captures the history of the ordinary people, but what significance does it have in education and society?
Chatterjee: India has a set of official school textbooks, bout there are regions which use their own texts instead. Some of these have been stimulated by subaltern research to incorporate local history to a greater extent.
Takenaka: The people of India have made their own history richer and deeper, incorporating the stories of more people. Your work had demonstrated that the past is not dead, but it is a catalyst for new knowledge in the present as well as in the future.
Arts and Culture Prize 2009: MIKI Minoru
- The Musical World of Minoru Miki
- September 20, (16:00-18:30)
- Fukuoka Bank Hall
- Mr. Tomoaki Fujii (Ｉnternational Manager of culture research institute, professor emeritus at national Museum of Mankind)
The World of Minoru Miki brought together the koto club of Chikushi Jogakuen High School, RKB Female Choir, traditional Japanese musical instrument performers and opera singers. Mr. Miki, a leader in modern Japanese music, served as the moderator for two-and-a-half hours of diverse, new and fascinating Japanese music.
“The Fascination of Minoru Miki”
Four groups performed, including a nine-part operatic circle of Japanese history that only Mr. Miki could write, as well as sokyoku, choral, instrumental and vocal pieces, revealing the breadth and depth of his music.
- Mr. Miki spoke with Tomoaki Fujii, President, International Institute for Cultural Studies and Professor Emeritus, National Museum of Ethnology, on the feelings encompassed in Miki’ s work and their fascination, while viewing recordings of the performance of Pro Musica Nipponia (composed entirely of Japanese musical instruments) in Berlin, and the opera Ai-en, based on Japanese history.
- Ai-en is set in Japan and China, based on the Japanese emissaries sent to Tang China in the Nara era, and will be performed in Heidelberg in 2010, for the rst time in Germany. As one of the highlights of this work, a pipa performance was shown on screen, lling the hall with the beautiful tones of the pipa being played masterfully. Fujii praised the great works of Miki, and his role of spreading Japanese traditional music throughout the world.
Arts and Culture Prize 2009: CAI Guo-Qiang
- Art : What can it do?
- September 16, 2009
- ACROS Fukuoka Event Hall
- Mr. Masahiro Ushiroshoji (Professor, Graduate School of Humanities, Kyushu University)
- Guest Speaker
- Mr. Yoichi Maki (Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Saitama University)
- Guest Speaker
- Mr. Raiji Kuroda(Director, Curatorial Section, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum)
Cai Guo-Qiang discussed the diverse potentials of art while introducing some of his works and projects that have drawn much acclaim around the world. As with his artwork, his talk also captivated the audience.
“Driven to Explore the Potential of Art”
Exhibitions of contemporary art in Asia generally do not drawn large numbers of visitors, but tend to be enjoyed by the few.
This is unfortunate, especially considering that contemporary art expresses messages on society and the era through new techniques, so people should feel more familiar to it compared to traditional art. The theme for the forum focused on this point.
First and foremost, “Art must be useful in your own life.” Unless you yourself are happy, others cannot feel happy either. That’s why you should concentrate on what you want to see and do. For me, I achieve catharsis through reworks, blowing off my dissatisfaction with my sadness, my weakness, or with society itself. I can express my feelings to others through art, and I feel at peace when I can express the beauty of nature.
When I want to draw attention to some social issue, I can send a message through my art, because art is a bridge between myself and society. The tough part is to find a fascinating and powerful means of expressing my feelings in my art. Problems must be resolved outside of art, but in the end are expressed through artistic energy. This is something I am constantly aware of.
Art also has the aspect of helping people. For example, I have auctioned off some of my pieces, and made donations to help victims of the earthquakes in Taiwan and Sichuan. I was involved in a project to make kites with children in Egypt, and even after that project ended, they still hold kite events annually. Artists not only show their work to others, they sow the seeds of culture.
Many people are awed and excited by my reworks. People across the globe were astonished by the Olympic fireworks that graced the skies above Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Art brings joy to people.
I think although art is not very practical, it has many potentials. I hope that you all will visit art museums more often, and encounter the pleasure of contemporary art as you discover new methods of expression and new concepts.
--Mr. Masahiro Ushiroshoji (Professor, Graduate School of Humanities,
When I saw Cai’s work, I realized once again how important it is not to
automatically dismiss a piece of art as something that is difficult to accept, or understand. This is certainly important in art appreciation, but I think it is also important to be sure not to automatically reject people you meet just because they are unfamiliar.
- --Mr. Yoichi Maki (Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Saitama University)
- I think that the theme of Cai’s work is “reconciliation.” He uses gunpowder for peace, not for war, and the Great Wall of China to bring people together rather than keep them apart. He holds exhibitions at major art museums across the world, while simultaneously creating new art in each region. He is reconciling contemporary and modern art, globalism and localism.
- --Mr. Raiji Kuroda (Director, Curatorial Section, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum)
- Cai’s work surpasses the boundaries of conventional contemporary art, destroying the division between contemporary and modern art, and even perhaps making the denition of art itself irrelevant. It is not the responsibility of the artist, but the responsibility of society as a whole to realize the value of art, even art which has no immediately apparent value, but I wonder if Japanese society today can still accomplish this task?
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